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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Orienting Canada

Race, Empire, and the Transpacific

Colony to nation? Isolationism to internationalism? WASP society to a multicultural Canada? Focusing on imperial conflicts in the Pacific, Orienting Canada disrupts these familiar narratives in Canadian history by tracing the relationship between racism and Canadian foreign policy. Grounded in transnationalism and anti-racist theory, this book reassesses critical transpacific incidents, from the 1907 race riots to Canada’s early intervention in Vietnam. Shocking revelations about the effects of racism and war into the 1960s are tempered by stories of community resilience and transformation. As a transpacific lens on the past, Orienting Canada deflects Canada’s European gaze back onto itself to reveal images that both provoke and unsettle.

464 pages

Table of Contents


Part 1: Race, Empire, and War

1 Prologue to War: Migration, Race, and Empire

2 China and the Clash of Empires

3 December 1941 and World War

4 Hiroshima and War’s End

5 Shades of Liberation

6 Boundaries of Race and Democracy

7 Elusive Justice: Canada and the Tokyo Tribunal

Part 2: Pax Americana – Race, Anti-Communism, and Asia

8 Mr. Kennan Comes to Ottawa

9 Canada, Asia, and “Pax Americana”

10 America’s Prestige, Korea’s War

11 The San Francisco Peace Treaty and Re-Militarization

of the Transpacific

12 Racism, War Crimes, and the Korean War

13 Vietnam: Departures in Canadian Foreign Policy




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